Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles and New York Islanders forward Matt Moulson are the finalists for the 2011-12 NHL Foundation Player Award, the National Hockey League announced today. The award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.
NHL Clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists were selected by a judging panel. The NHL Foundation will present $25,000 to the chosen charitable organization of this year’s recipient. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.
The finalists for this year’s NHL Foundation Player Award:
Mike Fisher, Nashville Predators
Since coming to Nashville in February 2011, Fisher has developed strong relationships with a number of non-profit organizations: Room In the Inn, a full-service homeless facility located a few blocks from Bridgestone Arena; Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, a Nashville based non-profit organization that serves inner city youth. Fisher donated $40,000 to Cottage Cove to purchase a van for the youth center and renovate their music room. He has not only given additional substantial financial contributions, other donations and made unannounced visits but has also purchased tickets for the Fisher’s Friends ticket program for youth organizations. In September 2011, Fisher released Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story, a book highlighting his faith journey that was written for 9-11 year olds. All sales benefit World Vision, with autographed copies at Bridgestone Arena raising money for Room In the Inn. Fisher and his wife also are seen at various charity fundraisers in the Middle Tennessee area, including events for The Peterson Foundation for Parkinson’s and Rocketown and he is an annual participant in the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation program.
John-Michael Liles, Toronto Maple Leafs
Liles started the Liles’ Buds program, which recognizes children who perform acts of kindness and give back to their community through anti-bullying efforts. Liles demonstrated his dedication to education through a $25,000 donation to the First Book Canada program, supporting First Book Canada’s mission to address the challenge of literacy in Canada at its root. Liles also participated in the Canadian Military’s Operation HOHOHO, served breakfast to the homeless at University Settlement in Toronto on Christmas morning, visited numerous terminally ill patients at local hospitals, and was an ambassador of the Leafs School program Shape Up, which focuses on creating healthy, active living opportunities for children in Grades 1-8. Liles, the Leafs’ leader in community appearances this season, also donated approximately $90,000 to Culver (Indiana) Academy, where he played prep school hockey.
Matt Moulson, New York Islanders
Moulson and his brother-in-law, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, created the 326 Foundation to benefit the Islanders Children’s Foundation and the Kings Care Foundation. This year, Moulson donated $500 for each of his career-high 36 goals to contribute a total of $18,000 to the 326 Foundation. Moulson also teamed with the Wounded Warrior Project, which raises awareness and enlists the public's aid for the needs of injured service members. In addition, Moulson served as the Islanders' spokesman for Hockey Fights Cancer; led extensive, full-team participation in the Islanders' annual holiday toy shopping event, holiday hospital visits and the Islanders School Day assembly program for children. He also became one of the first team members of You Can Play, the LGBT rights initiative that is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.